Ontario landfill gas project celebrates milestone

By Walker Environmental Group | March 03, 2015

Walker Environmental Group is celebrating a significant milestone in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and help Ontario tackle climate change. In Thorold, Ontario, WEG's landfill gas utilization partnership company has eliminated the need for more than 200 million cubic meters of natural gas since 2002 by providing landfill gas to nearby Resolute Forest Products, where 100 percent recycled newsprint is manufactured. The energy from the landfill gas, which would otherwise have been wasted, is equivalent to the natural gas used by approximately 80,000 Ontario homes.  

"We're proud of our part in achieving this measurable improvement in Ontario's efforts to address climate change. By utilizing landfill gas, we are helping transform what was once considered a waste, into a valuable asset. We're also helping Ontario businesses wean themselves away from non-renewable and greenhouse gas (GHG) intensive fuel sources,said Mike Watt, executive vice-president of WEG.

Landfill gas, composed mainly of methane and carbon dioxide, is created when organic materials degrade in landfills. In 2009, Ontario's Ministry of Environment and Climate Change required landfill gas to be collected and flared at large landfills to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  At its Niagara landfill, WEG goes above and beyond the regulation by further processing the gas and piping it to Resolute's nearby paper mill, reducing the mill's dependence on non-renewable fuel sources.

"Our partnership with WEG has been a great success story. Using renewable landfill gas has furthered our commitment to reducing our GHG footprint. As a proud member of the World Wildlife Fund Climate Savers program, Resolute has set among the most ambitious GHG reduction targets in the global forest products industry. We're very pleased that we have exceeded our goal two full years ahead of schedule, achieving an absolute reduction of 67.5 per cent compared with a year 2000 baseline. Projects such as this with WEG contribute to our ongoing efforts and likewise provide a stable, low-cost, renewable energy source for our operations," said Gord Cole, vice-president and general manager of Thorold operations at Resolute Forest Products.

By displacing the need for non-renewable energy sources, the project has reduced over 375,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. This is equivalent to taking approximately 79,000 cars off the road.

"WEG has demonstrated its leadership once again in the development of a low carbon economy. This project supports a resilient Niagara Region that wastes less, and makes an efficient use of energy from waste resources," said Katrina Kroeze, executive director of Niagara Sustainability Initiative.